When does the Summarize button show up?

What are the requirements for the Summarize button to show up?

What’s the logic?

I’ve only seen it on one topic so far, but there is no pattern that I can tell. The discourse forum mentions that it shows up on posts with more than 50 replies, but this doesn’t appear to be the case either. Does the post need to be newer?

If anyone knows the algorithm, spill the beans here :nerd_face:


The question is even more complicated than that.

If I had access to see the admin settings on this site I could give a definitive answer but sadly I can not see those settings. Currently for Discourse the only way to see such settings is to be an admin and as I am not an OpenAI employee don’t expect that to happen.

So here is my current understanding, which I am not researching for exact details so some of this may be wrong.

Discourse did not originally have a summuriation ability. Then I think someone created a plugin for it and Discourse liked it so much they either created an official plugin or put it into Discourse.

That is how it worked for quite some time and why I noted the conditions in the other reply and for which you are finding info regrading The discourse forum mentions that it shows up on posts with more than 50 replies which is valid.

However then came the Discourse AI plugin which also has the ability to do summeriation.

As I am finding


on any topic with one reply it seems that this is based on the Discourse AI plugin with summeriation enabled.

Now the Discourse AI can be configured to use different AI for backends including OpenAI. Specifically which one and the settings I do not know.


@sam.saffron knows but he is busy for the next few days so don’t expect an immediate reply.


Thanks for digging around @EricGT

But how “meta” is it that the summarize button decided to sprout up on this topic after your first response:

Either you have magical powers of conjuring it, or the very mention of it’s existence within a thread conjures it :rofl:

Hopefully there will be official clarification. I find it to be a very useful (and awesome!) addition.

As noted in my detail, on this site after the first reply it appears. The lingo I am using is that the first post is the topic and any post after that are replies. So one post for the topic, the second post for the reply and then the summary option is added.

If you follow along in the Discourse link, Falco notes

We plan on making it work with all topics by next week or so.

That was over a month ago and I am sure they were tweeking it even more.

Sam was the one who clued the moderators in that the summariation became active today and I am just spreading the word. I suspect Sam did it here so that the Discourse staff could see it actively used and gain feedback.

OK, got it.

But it shows “Summarize using AI” as a separate button than “Summarize This Topic”.

Different algorithms maybe?

Nonetheless, looking forward to this rollout. It feels like the future just met the forums. :face_in_clouds:

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My guesses, and these are all guesses

  • Discourse and OpenAI are working close together and that the removal of the other button was a customization for this site
  • A setting such that only one button appears
  • The documentation needs to be updated

Interesting you say that.

A long time ago I heard of this attributed to Philippe Kahn.

Philippe would give the key note at conventions to talk about the future of computing and always noticed the Xerox PARC was never there.

Then after sometime it was noted that Xerox PARC did not attend such conferences to hear about the future of computing because they were inventing the future of computing. If you ever get a chance to see some of the YouTube videos demonstrating Xerox PARC computers that predate PCs as we know them, you will be amazed.

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Interesting backstory on what killed Xerox. Agree they were ahead of their time, but sales and marketing was in charge of their monopolistic printer business. Maybe this will go down as the most massive oversight in computing history.


Apologies for being a bit slow to respond here and a bit too direct. I am still catching up and just got back from a 3-week vacation. :beach_umbrella:

The button shows up under 2 conditions:

  1. A summary already exists.
  2. The user is in the “custom summarization allowed groups” site setting.

Condition 2 is set to trust level 4 by default. I just changed it to trust level 3, so all TL3 users here should have access to it, including you @curt.kennedy :tada:

As for the implementation, we use GPT-4 32k here, and Discourse implements many options as per this link:


Thats Awesome! Thanks‎…‎

I have some very annoying error for a while
Hoping there will be a way to rid of this for tl3 above user


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“Summarize this topic” is unclear and could be perceived as dangerous, generating forum output.

Mod summaries seen in topics drive this expectation of its function.

“Summarize topic for me”, or “Summarize just for me”?

Is the summary content cached for non-updated threads, or does it again consume resources for a new user pressing it, making us guilty per-press?

This feels unrelated, we have quite a few knobs to control how much entropy we expect in posts.

The summary however is not just for you, it is for everyone, it is not destructive in any kind of way.

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This “Summarize with AI” up at the top does seem it is just for me.


“Destructive” would be someone pressing that inadvertently, and actually filling up the topic with summary messages - which would be operation a novice or expert could expect (and a forum CEO might describe); that perceived action of pressing the button might discourage useful engagements with the tool.

Perhaps that perception is just on this forum - a moderator pasting the summary as a new reply instead of generating it into the reply with the tool.

The button does not auto-post the summary. It just expands a section with the summary. Try it out on this thread.

I mean, I captured a screenshot right above your quote of “trying it out” - of me trying it out. I understand how it works.

The point I’m trying to make is that the exact function and expected actions are a bit opaque and non-discoverable without actually pressing.

My bad, misread a does as doesn’t. Agree I think it’s just how I first saw it on this forum though, had a similar thought.

That’s not entirely correct.

I released the first AI summary plugin for Discourse some time before and even announced it here.

Btw my plugin waits for n posts (governed by a setting) and once this threshold is breached it generates a summary which it refreshes every n posts (also governed by a setting). Summaries are created by normal activity then, not on summary demand. Pick your poison.